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Dear community members and partners,

Whoa!

🎢 February felt like a rollercoaster, with incredible highs and lows, and a surge of news about quantum in the Netherlands in all kinds of media.

The month started out with the regretful news about the retraction of an article published in Nature in 2018 on quantized Majorana conductance (link). 

It turns out that the claims of the original article do not hold because there are other explanations that could account for the observed data. This is a setback for the Microsoft/Delft team that is working on topological qubits. Many wonder what this means for the Dutch efforts in growing its national quantum ecosystem as a whole.
Luckily, the answer is: not that much. Research on Majorana qubits is very fundamental in nature and not part of the Quantum Computing platform of our National Agenda Quantum Technology (NAQT).

In general, the Netherlands doesn't put its eggs in one basket when it comes to quantum. We are working on various types of qubits (link), and despite this set back, Microsoft is continuing and expanding its efforts in the Netherlands!




📣Then, a world first achievement: Physicists from QuTech, led by the Chairman of our Supervisory Board Ronald Hanson, built the 1st usable quantum network of the world! (link
"This world premiere is a stepping stone to the long cherished wish of unhackable internet that will allow quantum computers to communicate with each other" wrote Dutch quality newspaper de Volkskrant, and is internationally seen as a breakthrough.

🗞️The big news was followed by a three-page spread in the paper's weekend edition (link). A beautiful piece with great insight into the reality of scientific work: its ups and downs, thinking you’re there and then realising you’re nowhere near, the necessary patience, the diligence of the scientists involved and the psychological load of performing research manually. And then, sometimes, in this case: incredible success.

📺 Other news outlets followed suit with an elaborate article about the race for the best qubit (link), a long report in Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (link), how Dutch startups are leading in creating quantum standards (link), Leiden-based scientist Julia Cramer appeared in TV show Atlas (link), and much more. 

Eventually, Financieele dagblad summarised the month of February with an article that tells it like it is: Despite the previously mentioned setback, it's business as usual (link). In other words: The Dutch quantum ecosystem is booming.

What else can you find in this newsletter? 
  • Ecosystem news
  • Academic news
  • Upcoming events
  • Job alert 
  • Getting to know you better
Enjoy the read!

Warmest Regards,
Team Quantum Delta NL

Ecosystem news 

 New EU quantum flagship consortium

Multiple organisations from the Netherlands are part of the European consortium of 19 partners (academia, international businesses and startups) which was launched in early february, with the goal of scaling silicon quantum technologies: QLSI.

QLSI (Quantum Large-Scale Integration with Silicon) will lay the foundation for the European Union’s industrial-scale implementation of semiconductor quantum processors, and further position Europe as a world leader in quantum computing.

QLSI is the latest addition to the EU’s "Quantum Flagship", a 10-year, €1 Billion R&D initiative that was launched in 2018. Read more about it here.
 
 

 NL startups create quantum standards 

Dutch quantum startups Qblox, Delft Circuits and Orange Quantum Systems are taking the lead in creating standards in quantum computing interfacing, together with QuTech and NEN (the Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute). The suggestions for standards are brought to the European level via the Focus group on Quantum Technologies (link).

As quantum technologies have a wide scope, NEN invites other experts to join this initiative, including experts in quantum communication, quantum simulation, quantum metrology (quantum sensors) and quantum computing. In case of interests or questions, you are very welcome to contact Inge Piek.
 
 

 Eindhoven goes underground

News from our hub in Eindhoven! Quantumtech Tu/e is -literally- going underground.

This means
→ A hybrid quantum computer
→ unhackable quantum internet
→ a workbench-sized synchrotron

In 2023, it will all be housed in a new building located between the TU/e buildings Flux and Cascade. The laboratories will be underground, shielded from outside influences that might be disruptive to the experiments. Read more here.
 
 

 QDNL at Conference Nederland Digitaal 


Our Supervisory Board-member Servaas Kokkelmans and two founding directors Freeke Heijman and Jesse Robbers presented an 'Update about Quantum Developments in the Netherlands' during "Conferentie Nederland Digitaal", organised by our Dutch government.

You can watch the 20 minute presentation here.
 
 

 Good news from the UK!


Brexit will not have an impact on research collaboration for the quantum community in NL and the rest of the EU. The UK will remain a full partner in Horizon Europe. This is good news for those who have joint projects with UK partners in place, and of course for those who are planning to start new ones. You can find more information here

Also good to know: The QDNL team is working on an international strategy for the coming years, so if you want to share your plans for the UK, please send an email to ulrich.mans@quantumdelta.nl

Academic news

 Leiden

Publication alert!

You may have experienced some of the applications of Machine Learning yourself. A recent app that makes old paintings come to life is one of such examples. These are extraordinary achievements, but it requires time to train the underlying computer algorithms. This process can take a lot of time on a classical computer, but researchers have now achieved to significantly reduce the training time by using a quantum processor.

International researchers including Leiden-based scientist Vedran Dunjko from aQa, have trained a quantum processor to direct photons, single particles of light, to a predefined location. Using the property of quantum superposition, a significant speed-up in computing time was reached.

The results will soon be published in Nature.


 

 Delft

Natalia Chepiga and Frédéric Mila from the TU Delft reported exciting results in an article published in Nature.

They studied the behavior of a chain of Rydberg atoms by using state-of-the-art numerical simulations. By playing with the distance between the atoms and the laser pointed at the atoms, they found transitions in the state of the atoms.

The results help us to understand what is physically happening on the very small scale of atoms in solid materials. If you are interested to read further, the article can be found here.
 
 

 Twente

A very recent publication of Jelmer Renema of the University of Twente and scientists from China, shows how to recognize that large scale quantum interference using photons (particles of light) was successful. Such photonic interference is one of the two systems in which a quantum advantage has been claimed. 

The publication in Physical Review A shows how to measure the degree to which your photons interfere directly from the operation of the experiment. You can read the article here.
 
 

 Nijmegen


Alexander Khajetoorians and Bert Kappen of Radboud University are working on a "quantum brain". This initiative combines concepts from quantum technologies with hardware dedicated for AI. In this way, an "intelligent" material can self-learn, based on chosen stimuli, and perform recognition like the human brain.

The researchers were able to pattern individual atoms on a surface of a black phosphorus semiconductor, and observed that the behavior of these atomic networks mimicked the processes of neurons and synapses as described by conventional neural networks in machine learning, scaled to the level of individual atoms. The scientific results were published in Nature (link), and resulted in great press, with articles in NRC (link) and De Ingenieur (link).

Upcoming events

 Quantum & Society - Lessons from AI


As quantum is moving closer to commercial reality, we must start today if we want our ethical, legal and social principles to shape the development of the quantum landscape of tomorrow.

We might be able to learn from what has been done in the field of AI governance in the past. Therefore, we're bringing together a small group of 10 - 15 AI & society experts to collect valuable lessons learned for Quantum, on Monday 15 March 2021, 16:00 - 17:30 hours CET.

There are still places left to watch the moderated debate. Register now by replying to this email.
 

 Quantum Symposium 


Quantum.Amsterdam invites you to the online Quantum Symposium organised together with the Dutch Payments Association on 25 March between 14:00 and 16:00 hours (CET).

It specifically focuses on quantum computing and security topics with contributions from academic researchers, representatives from the banking industry and authorities in their work area.

The event gives a brief update on developments related to quantum computing, explores opportunities, prepares for the advent of the quantum computer and aims to strengthen the dialogue between the academic and industry community. You can find more information here.
 
 

 Amsterdam Meetup


Once every two months, Quantum.Amsterdam hosts free and publicly available Meetups. The March edition will be dedicated to startups, and takes place on 18 March between 16:00 and 17:00 hours (CET).

Speakers are:
→ Joel Klassen, Quantum Software Researcher at Phasecraft
→ Amber Van Hauwermeiren, Business Developer at Orange QS
→ Jelmer Renema, CTO of Quix

If you are interested to join the Meetup on 18 March, you can register here.
 

Monthly Coffee Break ☕
QDNL organises 30 minute 'Coffee Breaks', once a month on Wednesday mornings between 10:00 and 10:30 hours (CET). The last one was really fun! The next one is on 17 March. 

Please join us for informal networking with others from the entire Dutch quantum ecosystem by simply clicking bit.ly/qdnlwonder on 17 March at 10:00 hours.

Job alerts

 PhD position in Amsterdam

 
While a quantum internet is being developed, many open questions remain about the power of networked quantum computers: What are their exact capabilities? And for which distributed tasks can new protocols be found?

The Multiscale Networked System (MNS) group (UvA Faculty of Science), invites you to apply for a PhD position on the theory of quantum networks, to work on these questions.

Would you like to help realise quantum internet in the Netherlands? 
Apply here!

 Getting to know you better

 
👩🏻‍🎓Last but not least, our new science communication intern Jesse is conducting a study on your thoughts on Quantum Physics and its applications. He's also interested in your knowledge of Quantum Physics.

The study will be conducted in cooperation with the Science Communication & Society department of the Leiden University.

If you are interested in participating in the research by doing an interview, you can fill in the following form and he will contact you. Thank you!
 

See you next month!

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